Scaling Innovation at Etsy

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July 18, 2023

How do we think about innovation? And then, how do we scale it? Matt Holford is a Senior Director of Engineering at Etsy and a technology leader who's had quite a storied career working as a musician and in various creative digital service agencies.

As such, he has a unique perspective on how to frame scaling innovation.

How do we give staff the space for idea generation? And then, how do we validate and implement new ideas at a company level? For Matt, opening the door for product innovation means being able to have pockets of creative conversation in high-pressure situations.

It's about having the right expectation of bandwidth to take on new ideas – something that is completely distinct from how good the new idea may be.

Setting goals at the right altitude is also important in today's tough economy. You can set big-level innovation goals that then cascade down to each individual team, but those teams may then feel robbed of the permission to innovate themselves.

Looking at innovation through the prisms of the individual, the team, and the organization is one of the creative ways that Matt is coming up with new idea-generation methods. Please join us in this fascinating conversation about the cadence and scalability of innovation.

"The context matters so much in terms of how willing people are to think about technology and engineering as a creative practice." - Matt Holford

  • Appreciating how Matt's career has informed his understanding of product development
  • How do you take on board engineer ideas while satisfying stakeholder interest?
  • Understanding the practice of generating ideas both inside and outside the business
  • How comfortable is Matt with 'throwaway ideas’?
  • How do we scale innovation in today's tough economy?
  • Seeing the time required for idea generation as a sliding scale
  • What is the right cadence for idea generation?

Let's collaborate.